MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WITHHOLDING INFORMATION
ENHANCED RESULTS July 2006
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© 2006 by Barbara McRae-Sandquist, MCC. All rights reserved.
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2.Misconceptions About Withholding Information
3.Keeping It CLEAR
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"Lying is done with words and also with silence."
~~ Adrienne Rich
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WITHHOLDING INFORMATION
A frequent question I hear from clients is, "What do
I do with a team
member who is reluctant to share information?" After
I gather more data
about the specific situation, I invariably find that it involves
difference in communication styles. It's true that some people
inherent tendency to communicate more fully and more often
It's often disconcerting to us when our bosses, peers, staff,
family members don't give us the information we believe we
need or want.
Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us feel much more
with people who are like us, who share our values and whose
style matches our own.
Feeling left out of the loop can cause us to draw erroneous
One such assumption is that the person is deliberately keeping
from us. That is, of course, possible as the quote above suggests:
withholding information with silence is a form of deception,
a lie. It can
be perceived as being controlling and it certainly contributes
Occasionally, you'll run into team members who derive great
pleasure, and a
false sense of superiority, if they have information you don't
thinking that this makes them more powerful or indespensible.
nearly always backfires over the long run.
In the workplace, keeping information to yourself that others
have a need
or a right to know is not appropriate. (Obviously an exception
would be if
the information needs to be held in strict confidence.) In
if you are working on a project with another person or an
entire team, giving
regular updates is paramount--whether that is your natural
inclination to do
so or not. If you receive feedback that you are not sharing
information or not doing it in a timely manner, then it's
best to take this
constructive critiscm to heart. Don't make the mistake of
and replying "I forget to tell you." Instead say,
"You are right; I'll make
it a priority to update you right away."
If you are playing the "I have information you don't
have game," stop it!
This is not the way to make friends and influence people and
it could cost
you your job. If it's because you are someone who isn't very
even reticent), determine to remind yourself to share information.
you don't know how to balance your personal communication
your goal to cultivate a team spirit, get a certified coach
to help you.
Having a habit of withholding information, whether consciously
unconsciously, will not just show up at work but also at home,
personal life. A case in point involves a woman who felt hurt
boyfriend could even think of accusing her of having an affair.
I know this
woman very well and could appreciate her shock; her high degree
integrity would most likely prevent my client from ever being
That said, I can also understand how her boyfriend could
have arrived at his
conclusion. My client is a very private person. Instead of
can't see you tonight because I'm having dinner with my friend
she'll reply: "I have plans tonight" or "I'm
having dinner with someone."
Naturally, the omission of pertinent details in an intimate
is cause for suspicion. This is especially true if you have
burned by trusting someone who later betrayed you--as was
the case with
this man. At this stage of their relationship, her boyfriend
had no way of
knowing that she would have answered her female friends in
the same veiled
By not taking into account inherent differences, you are
likely to make
assumptions that can lead to false conclusions. You'll be
much better off
if you stay away from judging others merely because they don't
think or act
like you do. Be open and curious. Ask questions that promote
find out what's behind their behavior.
Just because someone is unlike ourselves doesn't mean that
preferences are wrong or not as good as ours. Granted we generally
others to think and act like us. If you hang on to this unrealistic
expectation, you will experience more friction and disappointment.
to adjust to differences in style and stay focused on what
appreciate about each other.
Sometimes adjusting to another person's style is not enough.
at the center of having effective relationships at work or
at home is:
"How is my behavior (i.e. communication) helping or hindering
and successful relationships?" If you find that your
behavior is negatively
impacting your goal, be willing to change.
If you find that the other person's behavior is hampering
be willing to respectfully make a request for change. In any
relationship, each partner (or team member) needs to be willing
collaborate by honoring both his or her own preferences as
well as those of
the other persons. It is not an either/or situation.
Fortunately, my client's boyfriend gave her the benefit of
the doubt. This
incident made her much more aware of her tendency to unnecessarily
information; thus, creating distance, not closeness in her
(c) Barbara McRae, MCC
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KEEPING IT CLEAR by Barbara McRae, MCC
Guidelines for clear and successful communications:
Look for the other person's attributes even when you are
Give your full attention and don't interrupt
This helps the other person be more empathetic to your needs/opinions
Let the other person be heard by restating the essence of
Be honest and respectful about making your needs clear to
the other person
If you appreciate the life philosophy of bestselling authors
Bob Proctor, and/or Esther and Jerry Hicks, you'll want to
see this powerful
and life changing movie, "The Secret," based on
the Law of Attraction.
If you haven't seen it, take a look at this trailer for
the movie: http://www.thesecret.tv/
Even though I've worked with the principles of attraction
for the last ten
years, I've watched this movie at least five times and I LOVE
Have you checked the THOUGHT for the WEEK yet? It’s
simple, click here:
http://www.enhancedlife.com. Call 505-424-3770 or email Barbara
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of your dreams!
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